To-do list after arrival in France

Administration procedure is never a favor while studying abroad. Each country will have their own system that’s gonna drive you crazy with a lot of steps, and also, confusions. In this post, I will summarize briefly some important procedures that might be useful for your first stay in France!

  1. Register at the university

In other words, this is when you pay your tuition fee, insurance and get your student card. Usually, you will need to take an appointment with the administration department (via web or going there in person) and finish other steps in the appointment. The university will provide you with the list of required documents, mostly, you will need to fill in a form given by them, bring some ID photos, copies of your passport…and of course, your tuition fee 😀

After paying the tuition fee, registering for a “numero sociale securite” (aka insurance number), you will be able to collect your student card. A small note: All these steps will be done during the orientation week and the International Relation Office will have someone to guide you through so don’t be in panic mode. For the insurance, they will ask you for a RIB (IBAN), so it’ll be perfect if you could have that beforehand. Otherwise, let’s go to part 2: Opening your bank account!

2. Open your bank account

It’s up to you which bank to choose, but they will all go through the same procedure: Take an appointment, bring the documents they require, sign in some papers and then after 1-2 weeks, you will get your bank card. However, this step might take quite a long time (I remember one of my friend waited for 2 weeks just for the appointment to open the bank account), you should do this asap after arrival.

In case you’re in international master programs of Universite Jean Monnet de Saint-Etienne, it’s much easier as the university will help you opening your bank account with BNP Parisbas on your behalves.


I actually found this one on another blog, which is more than detailed 🙂

How to Complete Your OFII Paperwork

Some other tips to settle down in France have been listed in this entry:

Though it’s specific for Saint Etienne but regarding CAF, insurance and general stuff, I found it’s almost similar elsewhere in the country 🙂

Good luck with your first adventure in France !


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